Ars Choralis celebrates its 50th anniversary season this year with an expanded series of performances. On February 21, the chorus will become one of a series of invited vocal ensembles to perform at the New York Theater Workshop at 79 East 4th Street in New York, as part of the play The Events by David Greig. This Actors’ Touring Company production was a great success at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is playing in New York during February and March as part of an international tour.
The composer of the play’s music, John Browne, explains the role of the community choir: “They comment on the action; they participate in the story; they move the narrative forward as well as connect with it emotionally.” Information on this performance is available at www.nytw.org.
Smaller groups from Ars Choralis often do benefit performances for the ensemble. The next in this “Artist Within” series, “Best of the Valentine Shows,” will take place on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, March 7, at the Sheeley House Bed & Breakfast in High Falls. In addition to a wide selection of popular love songs, ranging from Jerome Kern to Paul Simon, “the show will also include some Latin American love songs played by classical guitarist Greg Dinger, the group’s infamous ‘Anti-Love Song’ medley and an a cappella Beatles medley as the show’s finale. A Valentine’s reception follows the show.”
In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Woodstock town supervisor Jeremy Wilbur visited the rehearsal on January 25 and read a proclamation from the Town Board recognizing and praising the ensemble (pictured above in this photo by Mike Haller).
The next regular local Ars Choralis event will be a repeat of the ensemble’s outstanding “Music in Desperate Times”: a recreation of musical performances at the Birkenau concentration camp, coming in April.
Ars Choralis’ “Artist Within,” Saturday, March 7, 8 p.m., by donation, Sheeley House Bed & Breakfast, 6 Fairview Avenue (off Lucas Avenue), High Falls; (845) 687-4360, www.thesheeleyhouse.com, www.arschoralis.org.